Softball Inks Four during Early Signing Period
Nov. 10, 2006
For Immediate Release
MEMPHIS - In her third signing class, University of Memphis women's softball coach Windy Thees is doing what she couldn't do in her first two; recruit with the full allotted time and a season under the program's belt. 2006 marked the inaugural season for the Lady Tiger softball program, and Thees' first two classes signed before the team had even played a game.
As the team looks for the first time to replace some of its seniors after the upcoming season, Thees announced four players have signed national letters of intent during the early signing period. The players will join the team in the fall of 2007.
"Unlike the first two classes who came a little bit with the unknown because we had never even played a game, these girls have now seen what we're trying to do at Memphis," Thees said. "They know that our expectati`ons for our program are very high. They like that. We both wan to be winners, and I think with that consistent goal betweens us, it's going to help us get to where we want to be in the future."
The signees include pitcher Kimber Bossom (Dayton, Texas), outfielder Kim Sirman (Sugar Land, Texas), third base/shortstop Maddie McKinley (Chickamauga, Ga.) and local product, first base/outfield Cheryl Whitfield (Memphis, Tenn./Bolton HS).
"We put a lot of work into this," Thees said. "My assistant coaches from past and present have worked really hard on these kids to get them to know that Memphis is not just a good school. It's a great city, and what we're doing here in our athletic department is very good."
"Kimber is a top notch Division I pitcher who is going to come in right away and be able to take over a starting role for us on the mound," Thees said. "We think Kimber has enough experience pitching at the top level to come in and throw for us. She has a devastating drop ball. For us that is going to be great. She'll keep balls in the park. She's also a very good hitter and plays outfield and first base. I like for my pitchers to be very athletic, and Kimber fills that role well."
A summer tournament teammate of fellow Memphis signee Kim Sirman, Bossom played two years with the Texas Storm 18 Gold under pitching coach Joe Wymer. She helped the team take 25th at the Gold Nationals in 2005 and ninth at Boulder in 2006. Bossom also played summer ball on the Texas Sting 18-under in 2004.
Besides softball, Bossom also lettered at Dayton High in basketball and volleyball and is an all-district selection in both sports. She is on the student council, is a Quill & Scroll member, a National Honors Society member, FCCLA member and the Team Teen City secretary. She is the daughter of Ben and Lisa Bossom.
"I'm very excited that Maddie is going to be a Lady Tiger," Thees said. "She is a power hitting thirdbaseman/shortstop. She has enough quickness to play short, but she's strong enough to play third base as well. Having someone that versatile will really help us in our infield."
This past summer, McKinley played summer softball for the Chattanooga (Austin) Eagles 18-under led by current Memphis softball assistant Donald Pickett. Prior to that, she played three years for the Chattanooga Eagles 18-under Fastpitch coached by Jimmy Hutchins. McKinley helped her summer team to the 2005 ASA National Championship qualifier and was a Rising Stars Showcase Participant. She also led her team to a championship at the Music City Hits Tournament in 2005 where she was named the MVP. Her 2004 summer team finished 44th at the ASA National Championship, and in 2003, the team finished seventh at the NSA World Championship.
McKinley also lettered three years in basketball and two in track at Gordon Lee. On the basketball team, McKinley was a Chattanooga Times Best of Preps selection in 2005 and an all-region pick in 2005 and 2006. She was named the team's post player of the year in 2005 and the team's rookie of the year in 2004. In track, McKinley placed fifth in the state long jump in 2004 and holds the school 100-meter record, which she set in 2005. She is the daughter of David and Sandra McKinley.
"Kim is a speed demon in the outfield," Thees said. "The best thing about Kim is she just goes out there and gets it. We won't have to worry about anything dropping. We're very excited to have her. She's quick, but for a little girl, she also has a lot of power."
Sirman played summer ball for the Texas Storm 18 Gold under Coach Larry Durham. The team went undefeated in the Team NJ Invitational and finished ninth at Boulder in 2006. Before playing for the Texas Storm, Sirman played one year with the Sugar Land Shock 18-under and helped the team place seventh at the ASA Nationals in 2004. She is the daughter of Bill and Thelma Sirman.
"Cheryl is a big, strong kid that can hit for power, but she's very quick for her size as well," Thees said. "She's a hard worker and has a cannon for an arm. We're just excited to have her in the lineup and see what she can do. We believe can be a really good player for us here."